So I saw two movies last weekend, Jurassic World: Forgotten Kingdom and Tag. I have a lot to say about Jurassic World but maybe a Tag review later? We’ll see. Let’s get to it.
I actually really did not want to see Jurassic World: Forgotten Kingdom. I had watched Cinema Snob’s review and it was not favorable. I generally agree with the Cinema Snob and thought I would give this one a pass. But then on Friday my husband and I were by the movie theater with nothing to do and my husband suggested we go see it. He had been suggesting we see it all week and I figured I might as well get it over with.
The most worthwhile part of my trip was the fact that there were a couple of professional Antman cosplayers the theater had hired to take pictures with kids. Getting a picture with them totally made my night. They were very photographic and it was a moment of sheer awesome. Unfortunately the fact that I’m fat as fuck and was dressed sloppy kinda ruined it. Still, if those two ever find my blog, I want them to know how much that moment meant and to keep being awesome.
The movie itself…was not so good. I’m sure most people already know the premise, but I’m going to talk about it anyway. Basically the volcano on the island where Jurassic Park is located is about to erupt and kill all the dinos. It’s a big controversy whether they should live or die, somehow, because I guess in that world where we have room to worry about such an insignificant thing. There’s even organizations and protests dedicated to keeping dinosaurs alive. It’s such a big deal, Congress is having hearings. Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard)from the first movie is a member of one of these organizations, having put aside her businesswoman sensibilities and grown a soul to care about the dinosaurs–despite them nearly killing her many times over in the first movie. When the obviously evil rich Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) calls her requesting she rescue a velociraptor named Blue from Jurassic World, she jumps on the chance and takes the velociraptor trainer from the first movie, Owen (Chris Pratt) as well as some new characters along for the ride. Things don’t go as planned, and then it’s a fight for survival against a new genetically engineered dinosaur, the Indoraptor.
The good news is if you just like to watch bad cgi dinosaurs be cool and eat people, this movie fills that niche pretty well. If you’re looking for a story with any semblance of a well-written plot or for things to make logical sense, this is not this movie. Characters continuously do stupid things to advance the plot, and things that don’t seem like they should work do for the good guys, also for the sake of advancing the stupid plot. There are so many plot holes, and all weekend I was thinking and asking my husband about them. His response pretty much amounted to “Don’t think about it too hard, it’s not that type of movie.” He’s right, it really isn’t. But if you can’t look past writing that would be right at home in a SyFy original movie, this movie isn’t for you.
The lazy writing really hurts the ability of the movie to build up the stakes. When it becomes obvious that the good guys are going to survive because the movie wants them to survive, then there’s no reason to fear for their lives. Not a single character on the good guys side is eaten by a dinosaur, which is highly unusual for the Jurassic Park/World movies. In fact, only one good guy dies, and it’s pretty obvious he’s slated for death as soon as he comes on screen. Usually these movies have a really high death count on both sides and it’s rather disappointing they play it so safe in this movie.
One thing that I did enjoy about this movie that many people have criticized is the new character of Franklin (Justice Smith). He’s a system analyst who goes to the island with Claire because they need to access the computer system to track the dinosaurs. He spends almost the entire movie panicking about the situation. A lot of the reviews I read said he was annoying and a failed attempt at humor. I respectfully disagree. Honestly, I appreciated his character. He felt to me the only character who was having an appropriate reactions to what was happening, which was great with so many of the irrational responses to, well, everything in this movie.
I did not feel like any of the actors gave a very good performance. Rather it felt like they just showed up to collect a paycheck. To be fair, I’m not sure I could deliver the lines in this movie with a straight face, but everything felt so stiff and forced. There is no chemistry between the characters at all.
I’ve been very negative about this movie, but despite these glaring problems I had an okay time. It still manages to entertain, if only for me to see what batshit insane thing the movie is going to do next. If it was a slow month at the movies, I could recommend it. But it’s not a slow time at the movies and there’s so many better ways your money could be spent. In the first run theater alone, if you want a sequel there’s The Incredibles 2, Deadpool 2, Sicario, and Antman and the Wasp. All of those are better movies then this, and unless you’re like me and see movies every weekend, there’s no reason to not wait for this one to hit the second run theater or as a rental.
On the other hand, dinosaurs eating people is a very specific itch, and no movie scratches it as well as the Jurassic World series. And apparently, with this movie being the third highest grossing movie this year so far, most people are willing to look past that for some good old dinosaur action. If that’s you, no shame! We all have guilty pleasures. But this movie is dumb, and you should go in expecting that, and not a quality movie.
In the end I give it a C-. It’s a lazy soulless cash grab, but at least I got to watch some people die horrible deaths. You pretty much know if you’re the type of person who’d like this movie, if you are, it’s serviceable but it’s really not worth watching in theaters.